Bear is a rare breed of a boy. Or at least I think so. He generally doesn't participate in the group teasing that is common at age 11. That's not to say the he doesn't tease because I have heard him, but it's a one-on-one ball busting sorta thing. Bear can also be hypersensitive about being teased which makes the fifth grade a bit more challenging for him. As of late, the girls have been ruthless. Teasing him from everything to his hair cut, his unibrow (which he is kinda hairy), to his last name (which we share with a popular fast food restaurant and a farmer).
I kept advising Bear to use his words. That a stinging comeback is just as powerful as flaying fists. He has engaged in neither.
Until a couple of days ago.
The story is a bit hazy to me because his story telling techniques need serious work. Either way he said he was being teased by another boy, and the boy was saying something to the effect of "This is Matt" while he rubbed his belly and patted his head. I am still not sure how this was teasing or even offensive, either way Bear wasn't happy with this taunting.
Under normal circumstances he would have walked away. Neither defending himself nor hurling an equally offensive remark back at the would-be bully. This day was different. On this day, Bear used his words. His comeback went something like this:
"Yea whatever. You think listening to Justin Bieber, eating chocolate and beating off is a party."
I want to say that I reprimanded him for using the term beating off. I would like to say that I stood there and gave him some clever speech about how it's wrong to say those things in school. But I didn't.
My jaw dropped, I gasped and then proceeded to belly laugh! I thought YES! He is using his words! And that was a great friggin' comeback for an 11 year old!
Then the laughter stopped and the theme music playing in my head skipped.
"Do you know what beating off is?"
Exasperated sigh: "Yes Ma."
Deep sign of relief that I didn't have to explain this. Gasp!
"Did they know what beating off? Please tell me you didn't explain it."
Deeper sigh. "No. I didn't want them running to tell the teacher I was talking about."
Gasp again! Chuckle. "Thank you so much for that. I can only imagine that phone call or email."
Then I went too far. I had to know exactly where my 11 year old was on this puberty scale, and if I had missed my opportunity to educate him. Not to mention what the next stage in our possible talks would be... I had to know something.
"Bear? You're not beating off, uh masturbating, right?"
"NO! But sometimes when I am on my X-box I make this sound (he starts slapping his hand on his forearm) and pretend I am." He chuckles! I laughed out of slight discomfort, but mostly amusement.
What do you say to that? Where do we go from here in the birds and bees conversation? Is this where I should evaluate my parenting? You know you are failing as a parent when.... your child uses the term beating off. But dammit it still makes me chuckle.
*like it when you read....love it when you comment!*